28 November 2011

And matter’s sanctified, dipped in a gold stain

As predicted, I'm knee-deep in oak leaves.

I remember reading once that there are twenty-some species of oaks indigenous to Maryland.  With all the clarity and imperfection of memory, I can see the newspaper (an inside page) where I read this, but not the exact number (23? 28?), nor the name of the newspaper. Was it the Post? The Sun? The local crabwrapper? Was it in a story about the final collapse of the Wye Oak or one of the occasional surveys of Maryland's biggest trees?

I can't remember. The only thing that stuck is the 20+ species of native oak.  It seems to me you could spend several lifetimes getting to know those oaks.

Here are four of them.


Clockwise from top left: Quercus michauxii, Q. rubra, Q. albaQ. falcata.  Or, in the vernacular: Swamp Chestnut (or Basket) Oak, Northern Red Oak, White Oak, and Southern Red Oak.  I gathered these from my front walk; I suspect that if I walked down the street I might find a couple more species.

Léonie Adams

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...